Michael Sigman: Newt’s bilious public statements, along with damning quotes in the Esquire piece from his second wife (out of three, so far) Marianne and from former long-time Republican congressman Mickey Edwards, suggest that Newt’s regeneration does not appear to have included a new heart.
Tanya Acker: When I heard about the “split” in the Democratic party between Harry Reid and President Obama regarding the building of the mosque near Ground Zero, and as I listened to Senator Reid voice his objections to the mosque, my first thought was that the Senator should know better.
Lucia Brawley: 9/11 was the single largest attack on U.S. soil, killing 3,000 Americans of every color, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age and level of physical ability. Those who responded to this tragedy with total disregard for their own personal safety are unequivocally American heroes. And yes, some illegal immigrants rank among those heroes. I saw them with my own eyes.
Peter Dreier: Although nobody believes that homophobia has disappeared, polls show that public support for gay rights – including marriage – has increased dramatically in the past decade, especially in the last few years.
Jonathan David Farley: His normally sluggish organization, which took three months even to discuss what to do, if anything, when a Life Member was receiving death threats from Klan supporters, reacted in one day when racist liars, who wanted a black woman’s head, ordered the heir of W. E. B. Du Bois to step and fetch it.
Joseph Palermo: Nobody in power seems to be listening to what teachers have to say about how best to improve public education. The Administration is telling teachers that all those envelopes they licked, and all those doors they knocked on, and all those phone calls they made to help elect Obama in 2008 were nothing but a goddamned waste of time.
Joseph Palermo: After nine years of war the U.S. occupation of Afghanistan lacks support at home and is widely recognized as a drain on the domestic economy in a time of severe economic contraction. The billions of dollars in U.S. economic assistance to the Hamid Karzai government has created an unsustainable class of Afghans who are dependent upon the American largesse and military presence that would be impossible to sustain by local taxes. It is a puppet government that wouldn’t last a day without American arms and money.
Joseph Palermo: Tomasky argues that many of President Obama’s harshest critics on the left are reacting that way because they don’t want to admit to themselves that the “feelings of invincibility and redemption” after the 2008 election “were misplaced,” and that “the power and euphoria were somehow counterfeit.”
Michael Sigman: Roughly a third of Al’s votes came from soul and pop music lovers who believed they were voting for sexy Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Al Green, nee Albert Greene. Green, who was a superstar who sold millions of records in the ’70s, also evoked sympathy from voters who remembered he was once doused by his girlfriend in a sea of boiling grits.
Joseph Palermo: Tuesday night President Obama explained how his administration is going to respond to the most devastating human-made ecological catastrophe in the nation’s history. But he apparently doesn’t recognize how overwhelmingly popular it would be right now with the American people if he came out swinging against the malefactors of great corporate wealth like BP (or Goldman Sachs).
Michael Sigman: The name Tea Party evokes — was no doubt conjured to evoke — deep deep associations with The Boston Tea Party, a stirring public challenge to corporate monopoly and monarchy studied by every American schoolchild. Now, thrown together with carefully-chosen words and phrases like “Take our country back,” “socialism” and “Hitler,” the Tea Party purveys the exact opposite — restoring corporate monopolies and viciously rejecting a popularly-elected president.
Michael Sigman: It’s tough to be a politician and a member of what Larry David calls “the bald community” in America, particularly when your shoulders also carry the burden of taking our country back. On last week’s Real Time with Bill Maher, one of the host’s New Rules was, “If Rand Paul is a true libertarian, he has to free his toupee.”
Joseph Palermo: The spectacle of British Petroleum literally killing off the Gulf of Mexico before our eyes while the Obama Administration apparently believes that BP is honorable enough to be trusted to dutifully clean it up is depressing beyond belief. Hearing Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal complain about the lagging federal response after he built his political career trashing the federal government is just too pathetic and stupid to even bother to ridicule.
Michael Sigman: It’s one thing for a sociopath like Simpson to think he can get away with asking, in effect, “Who do you believe, me or your lying eyes?” But why do politicians — who love to praise the smarts of “the American people” — tell lies time and again when common sense dictates they’ll be caught, especially now that online searches allow facts to be instantly checked and communicated?
Jonathan David Farley: Should the Harvard law student be expelled for her stupid, offensive, and easily refuted views? Certainly. But more harmful than the email is the contemporary African-American community’s customar ycowardice―the Harvard Black Law Students Association “has not taken an official stance” on the email that implies blacks are Untermenschen―and its propensity to elevate monsters and call them heroes. That’s simply “precious.”
Mario Solis-Marich: A sore spot among Latinos has long been that America accepts our cultural best while openly vilifying us in general. Salsa has long replaced ketchup as our country’s favorite condiment. Suburbanites love the hard work ethic that is embedded in our cultural DNA and that they so readily hire. Tierra, Shakira, Ricky Martin, Eve Longoria, Raquel Welch, Vicky Carr are loved. Yet these same people are conflated by the media with drug smugglers and terrorists. The disconnect is painfully irritating and quite frankly politically and socially unsustainable.
Mario Solis-Marich: As the pressure mounts around the country on the police state known as Arizona, eyes turn to Washington for comprehensive immigration reform. Top Senate aides informed me this morning that despite news stories to the contrary, Majority Leader Harry Reid has not backed off of the idea of pursing an immigration bill as the next order of Senate business. The clarification is one that may be too nuanced for some but is an indication of the balancing act the Leader feels he must make to hold the Democratic caucus together while trying to pursue legislative remedies to the huge problems left to fester during the days of the past Republican majority. The clarification however will probably not satisfy the Latino community as the disrespectful sting of the slap in the face delivered by Arizona lingers.
Mario Solis-Marich: While the state known as Arizona seethed and Latino parents fell on their knees with Rosaries in hand to pray for the future of their children Governor Jan Brewer went out for a tony dinner with gal pal and media made millionaire Sarah Palin. So happy was Brewer about her night out that she posted it on her Facebook page. It seems that after a week of “agonizing” over her decision to make Latinos the subject of racial profiling she needed a night out to blow off the steam. I guess creating wholesale big government discrimination made her hungry.
Mario Solis-Marich: The arrests led to even more unrest as supporters of the incarcerated youth turned up at the jail and demanded their release. Today passions remain strong as young Latino activists commit to continue to hit the streets demanding national leadership on the immigration issue and a veto of the Arizona State Bill 1070.
Joseph Palermo: He still wants to blame a “few bad apples,” instead of looking at his own role fanning the flames and pouring gasoline on the fire while the $8 trillion housing bubble was being pumped up. Greenspan said AIG’s problems were with insurance, but Born countered that if CDSs had been insurance they would have been regulated. Greenspan is bullshitting us again.
Michael Sigman: Isn’t it precisely the job of political, financial and religious leaders to imagine disasters and then prepare for them? (Plausible ones, that is, as opposed to, say, anti-asteroid Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher’s crusade for funds to combat “objects coming from space that could cause colossal loss of lives on our planet.”) And if their imaginations fail them, and us, shouldn’t they be held accountable — morally and, when appropriate, criminally?
Mario Solis-Marich: Latino voters, long weary of the harshness of the conservative attack on immigration reform, have grown accustomed to GOP games on the issue. However, never has a message been so clearly articulated across the social, cultural, and ethnic divide as the Spanish / English word chosen by the GOP to define itself.
Joseph Palermo: President Barack Obama Tuesday morning gave Democrats a blueprint for what to do in November: back in your districts surround yourself with ordinary Americans who would be denied care if the federal government did not step in to bend the corporate imperatives of profits and share prices to fit the human needs of people who pay their taxes, play by the rules, and whose only “crime” is to have gotten sick.
Joseph Palermo: Peter Baker’s profile of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel in the New York Times Magazine raises some interesting questions about President Barack Obama’s top aide. For Emanuel, it seems that all politics are electoral politics. He wouldn’t know a social movement if he saw one.
Michelle Alexander: The uncomfortable truth, however, is that crime rates do not explain the sudden and dramatic mass incarceration of African Americans during the past 30 years. Crime rates have fluctuated over the last few decades — they are currently are at historical lows — but imprisonment rates have consistently soared. Quintupled, in fact. And the vast majority of that increase is due to the War on Drugs.